“No one likes to admit defeat. But global policymakers, who continue to insist that there’s more they can do to revive growth and inflation, are starting to sound like Monty Python’s Black Knight (click to see video)..."
In the aftermath of the Panama Papers revelations, US authorities including the IRS appear to have begun a crackdown on tax evaders (if staying away from Washington D.C. for the time being for obvious reason), and according to Bloomberg they just landed a juicy target in the face of Morris Zukerman, a former head of Morgan Stanley’s energy group who now runs a private investment firm, who was indicted in Manhattan on charges of evading more than $45 million of federal and New York state taxes.
Government bonds rose and the yen strengthened as investors weighed the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next increase in interest rates and the outlook for inflation. Commodities slid, led by metals, while stocks in Europe declined. Treasury 30-year yields fell for a third day. The yen rose from near this month’s low. Futures on the S&P 500 also declined after initially jumping higher in thinly traded, illiquid tape.
These waxing and waning empires are dangerous as their vulnerabilities and short-comings become exposed, and their territories challenged. That fact that Putin is being prodded from within Russia to be less diplomatic and more aggressive in posturing for war is downright unsettling. Many of our most dangerous American leaders are all-too willing to poke the bear and evoke a reaction.
“From approximately 6:14 a.m. to 6:16 a.m., a small section of the Earth’s atmosphere should be perceptible to the naked eye when looking towards the southwest in Beijing... For anyone who hasn’t seen it before or isn’t sure what to look for, the sky will appear as a small, bluish area that should stand out clearly from its surroundings"
After years of debate, political jockeying and acrimony, a major pipeline project to bring natural gas to Southern Europe has broken ground. The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) will connect the Caspian Sea to European markets, providing Europe with another large source of natural gas that will help the continent diversify away from Russia. The route begins at the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, where the South Caucuses Pipeline will carry Caspian gas from the large Shah Deniz-2 gas field, delivering it to the border with Turkey.
A significant downward revision for March (from -0.6 to -0.9% MoM) enabled April to beat handsomely (+0.7% vs +0.3% exp.) pleasing headline-tracking algos. While this is the biggest monthly jump in Industrial Production since Nov 2014 - all thanks to the biggest spike in Utilities since 2007; the year-over-year tumble continues with IP -1.07% YoY for the 8th month in a row. Industrial production has never fallen for this long - in 96 years - without the US economy being in recession.
The days of global reliance on Chinese demand are soon coming to end as seen by the decline in growth rate, decline in imports, and increase in service sector strength. The implications have already been great as stock markets across the developed world fell into peril when China's GDP growth rate fell below 7 percent. Withdrawal symptoms may last for a while until a recovery in demand alleviates some pressure. But global financial markets will have to adjust to a developed China, and as this "new normal" sets in, it will mean softer demand for commodities. China’s slowing demand for oil will lead to heightened competition for suppliers. For now, it appears that OPEC’s loss is Russia’s gain.
For a long time, a common assumption has been that the world will eventually “run out” of oil and other non-renewable resources. Instead, we seem to be running into surpluses and low prices. What is going on that was missed by M. King Hubbert, Harold Hotelling, and by the popular understanding of supply and demand?
Global stocks have started Friday the 13th on the wrong foot, with not only Hong Kong GDP unexpectedly tumbling by 0.4%, the worst print in years while retail sales fell for a thirteenth straight month in March, the longest stretch since 1999 as the Chinese hard landing spreads to the wealthy enclave, but also following a predicted collapse in Chinese new loan creation, which will reverberate not only in China but around the globe in the coming weeks. The latest overnight drop in the Yuan hinted that should the recent USD strength continue, China will have no choice but to repeat its devaluation from last summer and winter.
One particular energy trader - a name well-known to Zero Hedge readers - Glencore, has built up a massive inventory stake in the Brent market where it now holds an unprecedented 30% position in Brent, which it is holding for offshore storage in its tankers in hopes of pushing the price of Brent, and thus the entire energy complex higher, by limiting supply.
We can now add two more major names succumbing to the Saudi onslaught against marginal shale producers when overnightfirst Linn Energy announced a prepackaged Chapter 11 deal, followed by Penn Virginia defaulting just hours later.